Setting / Monster Analysis:
At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like the setting of the book, because it seemed to 30 Days of Night for me-- small town, covered in snow, lights go out, then the creature takes over. But, I ended up liking the setting in the way that Malfi portrayed it, because he didn't just use the snow as the atmosphere but rather as the destructive force in the story (and not in a Storm of the Century way either)! He created his monster based off of the snow- using its characteristics to enhance its capabilities. For instance, in horror, we normally look at a fog or a storm as a destructive force, but in this case, it's like Malfi combined them all into the snow, and allowed it to move swiftly and quietly into creaks and openings in the buildings. Creepy!
BUT (yes there had to be one) I did think that the monster was kind of ...well, awkward. I mean, I loved the fact that it would become solid enough to shove its blades into the shoulder blades of it's victims, using them as skin puppets (love that name!), but I feel like the monster was to all over the place for me. For instance, before you know it, the creatures turned their hosts into a type of zombie figure that went around feeding on flesh and blood. In a way, I feel like it should have been one or the other, and I know that is squashing Malfi's creative process, but I found myself really confused a some points about what I was dealing with here. However, I really enjoyed that Malfi commented on the creature's attack on the children. I felt like he was making a comment on how innocent a child's soul is, by not letting the creature take to their bodies. They couldn't feed with them, but they did disfigure the bodies -- making them faceless, which I find particularly unsettling to be honest.
I wanted to comment on two other points, and then I'll feel satisfied with these blog entries. I personally loved when Todd, Kate, Fred and Nan met Eddie on the side of the street in the beginning, looking for his little girl, Emily. Right away, I sensed that something was off about him, just because I'm used to the genre, but he did convince me otherwise when he started to panic a lot when the others wouldn't listen to him. Yet, when he was in the car, and wasn't speaking... I was just waiting for him to gash out someone's throat and swallow their innards, ha. I think this was my favorite part in the book, because I liked all the drama this one small character started. He instantly created drama, suspicion, fear, curiosity, etc. and when he ran into the woods and Todd caught a glimpse of his little girl, I erupted into a wicked smile. Plus, for Malfi to end the book the way it began... I was very happy. It was like watching the conclusion of SAW all over again (which I realllyyy enjoyed!!!).
I already mentioned how I felt about Todd and Kate's relationship, and how I felt about Molly's decision to not off herself...Egh. But let's talk about the journey to the computer. While I'm sure everyone is waiting for me to bitch about them discovering the technology loophole, I actually thought it was quite clever. Why you ask? Well, because of all the complications they had in getting it of course! Todd thought something grabbed him while climbing across the pond, and almost had a near death experience, Brenden got his throat gashed out, Bruce got seriously chased by those horrific creatures, and the computer didn't start right away. SO, that works for me. Plus, I really liked the car diversion because it showed the dumb yet animalistic of the zombie (like thing).
Ok, ok, ok!! You finally wore me down. I liked the book. But I'm 70/30 on the monster folks. That's the best I can do!